MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Madras White Buffaloes soccer teams have their new home.
Madras High School held a ribbon-cutting this week for its brand new soccer complex.
Erica Olivera, a 2019 Madras High alum and current collegiate soccer player at Westcliff University in California, gave a speech before the ribbon was cut, talking about the importance of the new complex.
“The love of the game has always been here,” Olivera said. “What better time than now to take full advantage of this opportunity.”
As part of the 2021 Jefferson County School District 509-J bond, the brand new complex includes fresh grass fields, locker rooms and bathrooms, concessions, a coach's office and lights -- all things the previous field lacked.
Before the upgrade, Madras didn’t even have goals with wheels. They had to carry thm by hand.
Now, they have one of the nicest fields and facilities in the entire area.
“I believe this new soccer complex will only help elevate the success of both the boys and girls programs,” Olivera said.
Olivera also touched on what it would have been like to have this complex when she was playing.
“It would have been an absolute dream,” Olivera said. “You know, not having access to a locker room --whenever we would travel to other schools, it just kind of made us feel less than, so I think that’s just going to bring the confidence up in our players now here.”
Boys Head Coach Chuck Jones is already noticing the impact of the upgrades.
“I would have settled for the field, but the rest of it is icing on the cake. It's a beautiful field,” Jones said. “We’ve had historically a pretty strong program, but we’ve also this year had record turnout, and I think part of that has to do with the fact people are driving by and they’re seeing lights and they're realizing we can now showcase our games.”
Both Jones and Olivera know that with this new complex, the sky's the limit for Madras soccer.
“There is potential here to win state championships, but it's up to us to continue to support that development for youth soccer,” Olivera said.
The Madras boys are 2-1 and play at home this Saturday at 3 p.m. The girls are 0-2 and play on the road this weekend.